Everyone’s heard of the term Pro-Biotic. It’s a buzz word that surrounds everything from yoghurt, to fermented foods to baby formula and more recently to skin care. The term pro-biotic is generally accepted to mean a live culture of bacteria that is used to exert a therapeutic effect.
What’s my opinion on this? Personally, I think that pro-biotics could become a replacement for many drugs in the future. However, the human biome is complex on a scale that at this stage is far beyond our comprehension and understanding. It is estimated that there are more than 10,000 different species of bacteria in the human biome, interacting in a mind bogglingly complex manner. To suggest that adding a handful of bacterial species to repair the health of the biome seems somewhat over simplified. Conversely, could adding extra bacteria in random amounts cause a further imbalance to the biome and create unwanted effects?
Until we understand the complex nature of the human biome more I am inclined to sit on the fence with the use of pro-biotics. At this point in time I prefer the use of ‘Pre-Biotics’.
What is my definition of a pre-biotic? I would call a pre-biotic an agent that fosters an ideal growth environment for ‘good’ bacteria or a healthy biome. In terms of skin care, we know that healthy skin has a pH of about 4.5 and is well hydrated with numerous organic oils being secreted as a nutrient base for the bacteria.
This is the reason all the skin care products at Border Compounding Pharmacy have been formulated to be slightly acidic, with hydrating agents and full of natural fatty acids. Our products are all made fresh on site and not bulk manufactured and distributed which means that we don’t bomb the skin with strong antibiotic preservatives.
Our pharmacists have developed and use the BCP Pre-Biotic approach to treat a range of conditions from acne to eczema to psoriasis to nappy rash. We are pharmacists and realise the place of drug therapy but will always try this biome healing approach first.
Finally, one question that’s worth asking: If your skincare is good enough to restore a healthy bacterial balance to the skin, why would you need to use a Pro-Biotic cream anyway?